Silicon Labs introduced Monday its smallest Bluetooth low energy system-in-package (SiP) module with a built-in chip antenna, offering a complete, cost-effective connectivity solution with no compromises in performance.
Available in a tiny 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm package, the BGM12x Blue Gecko SiP module enables developers to miniaturize IoT designs by minimizing the PCB footprint including the antenna clearance area to 51 mm2. Applications for this ultra-small, high-performance Bluetooth module include sports and fitness wearables, smartwatches, personal medical devices, wireless sensor nodes and other space-constrained connected devices.
Based on Silicon Labs’ Blue Gecko wireless SoC, the BGM12x module provides an all-in-one Bluetooth connectivity solution featuring an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, high-output Bluetooth power amplifier, high-efficiency onboard antenna, external antenna options, oscillators and passives, along with a reliable, secure Bluetooth 4.2 stack and best-in-class development tools.
The BGM12x module provides developers the flexibility to begin with a module-based design and then transition to a Blue Gecko SoC with minimal system redesign and full software reuse. To help developers further miniaturize wearable designs and other Bluetooth-enabled IoT products, Blue Gecko SoCs will be available in an ultra-small (3.3 mm x 3.14 mm x 0.52 mm) wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP).
The BGM12x module’s high level of SiP integration frees developers from the complexities of RF system engineering, protocol decisions and antenna design so that they can focus on their end applications. The module’s exceptionally small size makes it easy to use in space-sensitive, battery-powered applications including low-cost, two-layer PCB designs.
The BGM12x module is pre-certified for use in several global markets, minimizing development costs and RF regulatory compliance effort for developers. All application code can be executed on the BGM12x module, eliminating the need for an external MCU, which helps reduce system cost, and board space and speeds time to market. Bluetooth low energy application profiles and examples are also available to streamline development.
The BGM12x Blue Gecko module and WLCSP SoC product are supported by the same software framework developed for Silicon Labs’ BGM11x modules and EFR32BG SoCs in QFN packages. Silicon Labs’ wireless software development kit (SDK) gives developers the flexibility to use either a host or fully standalone operation through the BGScript scripting language or with the ANSI C programming language.
Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth SDK has been upgraded to support new Bluetooth 4.2 features such as LE Secure Connections for more secure Bluetooth bonding, LE Packet Extensions for improved throughput, and LE dual-topology for multiple simultaneous central and peripheral functionality.
BGM12x modules are available with different transmit output power options, from 3 dBm (BGM123) to 8 dBm (BGM121), to support connected device applications with varying range requirements.
“Small size is as critical to IoT end node design as ultra-low power, low system cost and high levels of integration,” said Daniel Cooley, senior vice president and general manager of IoT Products at Silicon Labs. “Great things really do come in small packages, and there’s nothing quite like the BGM12x module in the Bluetooth low energy market. The BGM12x SiP module enables developers to design compact Bluetooth designs quickly and easily by integrating all required hardware and software components including a Bluetooth 4.2 compliant stack.”